How familiar are you with the sales funnel concept? This magnificent idea has become the core of digital marketing owing to its potential to turn unknown startups into highly profitable companies.
In order to better grasp the concept, you should actually imagine a regular funnel. Sales funnels look exactly the same; only instead of substances, prospects travel from the initial phase to the final destination. A sales funnel represents the journey of prospects from the moment they become cognizant of a particular business to the point of transforming into its customers.
The journey through the sales funnel consists of the awareness, interest, action, decision, and retention stage. Here is everything you need to know about every stage.
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The inceptive stage of the sales funnel is named awareness, as prospects become aware of your brand and the products/services you offer. In order for prospects to enter this first stage, they must arrive at your site either organically or via paid ads. It’s common for prospects to seek solutions to a particular issue and come across the name of your business. Find out how to increase brand awareness and promote business growth.
Moreover, prospects can find your brand organically while doing a search on Google, which increases your level of authority. The more authority you have, the higher the chances for visitors to enter your funnel. Irrespective of how visitors enter the awareness stage, the goal of marketers is to encourage them to move through the rest of the stages. Nevertheless, businesses are required to create a bond with prospects so as to turn them into buyers.
An effective way of attracting the attention of prospects is by offering appealing content, such as articles, podcasts, webinars, advertisements, landing pages, etc. Awareness-generating content is what you need to appeal to internet users and trigger their interest. This phase is almost identical to courtship, as brands need to engage with individuals in the right way to keep them interested.
The interest stage follows the level of awareness, where businesses unquestionably have the attention of leads. Although leads aren’t prepared to purchase a product, they are interested in learning more about your brand. Make sure the prospects get familiar with your backstory, which explains your path to success.
During the interest stage, leads spend their time comparing products, conducting in-depth research, and considering their options. Some of the best ideas for this sales funnel stage include email campaigns, social media pages, newsletters, blog posts, lead magnets, free trials, etc. Visit this link, https://www.thebalancesmb.com/email-marketing-2948346, to gain a better understanding of email marketing.
For instance, once you learn the email addresses of leads, you should start sending emails to retain their interest. Sending one email per day is considered sufficient after they complete the sign-up process. Bear in mind that pushy behavior is likely to have a contrary effect and force potential buyers to leave this stage.
The interest phase of sales funnels is all about evaluation. The job of marketers in this phase is to evaluate the engagement of leads with social media posts and email campaign links. The progression from the second to the third stage isn’t as obvious as it is between the first and second phases. Therefore, the moment prospects show a greater interest in your offers, lead them to the decision stage by providing discounts and free trials.
The third stage of sales funnels is the phase of making a decision, where leads have to feel confident in the quality of certain products/services before investing in them. Despite the huge interest of leads in this phase, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will take action. Therefore, the role of marketers is to persuade prospects to make a move by making the best offers.
In the course of the decision phase, leads compare the benefits and features of your products to those of the competitors. There are numerous sales funnel optimization strategies, which strive to engage and provide value to prospects throughout each funnel stage.
Hence, leads should discover the benefits they will receive from becoming your customers, such as getting bonus products, using discount codes, or having the products delivered free of charge. Make sure the perks you offer are irresistible.
High-quality content is also of great assistance in the decision stage, helping prospects make informed decisions. Some of the most popular types of content to include in this sales funnel level are testimonials, customer reviews, brochures, e-books, consultations, live demos, product comparisons, case studies, and many others.
At this point, potential buyers wish to hear the opinion of other consumers and learn about the customer experience your brand offers.
If you persuade leads into deciding to purchase a product/use a service, they will move on to the penultimate stage. Otherwise, they might return to the interest phase to do more research or shift their focus to one of your competitors.
The name of the penultimate action stage is self-explanatory, as this is the moment when prospects finally convert into buyers. Even though this phase is all about sealing a deal, make sure not to exclude useful content from it. The content in the action stage should be educational so as to help buyers incorporate the new solution into their everyday lives.
Helpful content in the penultimate phase should include insider tips, product implementation webinars, special offers, e-learning portals, follow-up email campaigns, case studies, etc. There should be call-to-action buttons at the end of the content. At this point of the sales funnel journey, leads should find the decision-making process relatively easy. Marketers, however, should do their best to make the action as effortless as possible.
For example, the payment process must be simple and convenient instead of boring and repetitive. If prospects have already provided you with their demographic information, don’t force them into repeating the same information. Also, you should accept numerous payment forms. There are supposed to be clear instructions in every step of the purchase so that buyers know what follows next.
Since customers are most interested in shipping, marketers have to explain shipping times clearly. They need to explain the follow-up process in the event of not receiving the package on the expected date. Also, there should be a section where buyers can ask any questions they want. The job of this section is to eliminate any remorse and hesitation on the part of buyers. See this page for some practical tips on creating a marketing funnel.
The ultimate stage of sales funnels is the retention phase. Once a prospect becomes your customer, you should do everything to retain him/her. In order to keep consumers loyal, make sure you provide them with helpful guides on getting the most out of their products. Additionally, marketers should send email newsletters and special offers to customers to inform them about the launch of new products and discounted offers, as well as how-to articles from users.
The first couple of weeks are essential in making or breaking a relationship with a new consumer. Customers shouldn’t get the feeling that you have disappeared after they’ve made a purchase. Make sure to keep in touch with them via email, webinars, or phone calls. In contrast, being too eager to pitch another product is also considered counterproductive. Give buyers some time to adjust to the idea of having bought a product before stimulating them to purchase another one.
There are various ways to reengage customers, such as upsell campaigns, referral programs, live demonstrations, product-specific tutorials, etc. Consumers should always have content to engage with to keep the long-term relationship ongoing.
How to Create a Sales Funnel?
The number one priority of businesses when building a sales funnel is understanding their target audiences. Your target audience research should reveal the pain points, fears, frustrations, desires, aspirations, and goals of prospects. It should also inform you about the social media platforms where these individuals are active.
In most cases, brands have to consider developing multiple sales funnels because of the different categories of the target audience. Not all prospects will purchase your products for the same reason or plan to use them in the same manner. In order to create different buying experiences, marketers have to build various buyer personas. Comprehensive research is necessary to create the right profiles.
Research results should include age, income, gender, hobbies, interests, and geographic location. Marketers should get informed about the occupation, education, and career goals of prospects. The more data you gather, the better the optimization of the funnel.
Developing a traffic strategy is a must in the process of sales funnel development. Unless there is traffic, you could never even drive awareness. The most common ways of driving traffic include SEO, PPC campaigns, guest posting, influencer marketing, social media advertising, etc. Despite the extensive selection, you are expected to choose the right mixture of approaches.
An engagement strategy is of vital importance for keeping consumers interested in your services and products. The key aspect of engagement is maintaining the right balance. You should seem neither too distant nor too overwhelming to customers. By sending relevant content, you’ll be one step closer to stimulating them to make another buying decision.
Brands are expected to have a conversion strategy and a follow-up policy. For instance, you should offer flexible payment plans to leads worried about the price. Those who feel hesitant about making the right decision should be provided with social proof like reviews and testimonials.
The Bottom Line
Sales funnels have the power to make companies renowned and successful. Build as many funnels as necessary to ensure conversion!